Rural Virginia projects threatened under Trump budget?

virginiaU.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $410,581 in federal funding for infrastructure project planning in Augusta County and Smyth County and agricultural research at Virginia Tech. Future grants like these could be endangered by President Trump’s budget, which proposes to eliminate programs like the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“Today’s funding will continue promoting economic growth and agricultural research in the Valley and Southwest Virginia,” the Senators said. “But President Trump’s proposed budget would walk back years of economic development in these regions by cutting funds from critical agencies like the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. President Trump is breaking his promise to help America’s hardest-hit rural communities by proposing to cut the funding they rely on to diversify their local economies, invest in infrastructure, and create jobs.”

The $410,581 in funding will be awarded by the following agencies:

  • Under the Department of Agriculture:
    • National Institute of Food and Agriculture will award $270,581 to Virginia Tech for agricultural research
  • Under the Economic Development Administration:
    • $70,000 to Augusta County for infrastructure planning
    • $70,000 to Smyth County for infrastructure planning

President Trump’s proposed budget would:

  • Abolish the Economic Development Administration
  • Defund the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which has invested more than $2.3 million in Southwest Virginia’s economy
  • Cut Community Development Block Grants, which have invested over $6.7 million in Southwest Virginia and millions more throughout Virginia
  • Cut the Department of Agriculture – which provides critical loans and support to Virginia farmers and rural communities – by 21 percent
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